How do you defend against the Mongols?

Apr 2018
270
USA
If your force consists of 30,000 cavalry then you will not send all of them or even 1000 to attack a single village. Most like you will send 100-200 to attack a cluster of 3-4 villages. Under all caste inclusive Paik system, each village can put 100-120 militia members, if they remain in home, in house to house combat, they may put significant threat to Mongols.

Afterall Mongol forces here number only between 30,000-40,000 how long they can survive summer, militia everywhere. fortified cities, cavalry challenging them and another central army coming from Delhi?
That's only likely to work they are underestimating the amount of defenders each village will have. If they realize that each one usually has 100-120 militia then they are going to attack with no fewer than enough soldiers to completely overwhelm them, and unless the village happens to have very strong fortifications they are unlikely to even delay the mongols before being wiped out. For the villagers staying to defend their houses would just be suicide. Instead their best option once they realize that the mongols are coming would be to just flee or try to hide somewhere.

The amount of food and provisions stored in a city or other fortified places can be a concern depending on how long the invasion lasts. If a large central army finally arrives and scares the mongols off that's good. But if the worst case scenario happens and the central army arrives after 3 months only to be outmaneuvered and defeated in a field battle, then the city now no longer has any food and is forced to surrender.

It's much safer if you can avoid having to defend a large population like that. If you have enough food stockpiled to feed the entire city plus refugees for 90 days, then if you instead kicked out all non-combatants before the siege even began, then you would have enough food feed just the garrison for potentially years.
 

SSDD

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
3,900
India
That's only likely to work they are underestimating the amount of defenders each village will have. If they realize that each one usually has 100-120 militia then they are going to attack with no fewer than enough soldiers to completely overwhelm them, and unless the village happens to have very strong fortifications they are unlikely to even delay the mongols before being wiped out. For the villagers staying to defend their houses would just be suicide. Instead their best option once they realize that the mongols are coming would be to just flee or try to hide somewhere.

The amount of food and provisions stored in a city or other fortified places can be a concern depending on how long the invasion lasts. If a large central army finally arrives and scares the mongols off that's good. But if the worst case scenario happens and the central army arrives after 3 months only to be outmaneuvered and defeated in a field battle, then the city now no longer has any food and is forced to surrender.

It's much safer if you can avoid having to defend a large population like that. If you have enough food stockpiled to feed the entire city plus refugees for 90 days, then if you instead kicked out all non-combatants before the siege even began, then you would have enough food feed just the garrison for potentially years.
It is not possible to concentrate thousands of cavalry just to loot one village. Village militias are no match, but Indian society was heavily militarized. In Mughal Empire, landlords kept 4 million armed retainers, that is despite caste system restricting recruitment to army to some extent. In this timeline, only 4 fold Caste system with privilege to change job and very less restriction on Shudras. So number of militias would skyrocket. Thing is Mongols will face country wide resistance.

In real life, Delhi Sultanate had weak defense in Punjab. Mongols massacred people and then penetrated as far as Delhi, only then Sultani army in running battle defeated Mongols. Both Turk army and Mongols had same tactics, except Delhi Turk army was more heavily armoured even if not more brutal.

Here the village militia is not supposed to defend or defeat, but fight a localized guerrilla war. Wear out Mongols. So that Mongols face resistance everywhere, like what Marathas did or Partisan guerrillas did in WW2. An Indian army with cavalry, pikemen(with swords), archers in ratio of 1:1:1 will not take much time to arrive from Delhi.

In real life, Turk army defeated Hindu armies in same tactic as Mongols, but as soon as they came out from urban areas they faced massive resistance from armed retainers, so unless they came in waves it was simply suicidal for them to venture in open alone. Because of heavily militarized society in which 10% of workforce was in army, Turks could never solidify their presence in village unless there was religious conversion. So Mongols are never going to have peaceful backyards.
 
Aug 2015
1,844
Los Angeles
A City can stock foods for 90 days, all Indian cities have river. By that time in extremely hot weather of India's Mongols will be tired as they were actually. Besides that my scenario also has Rajput cavalry capable of horse back archery(unlike real life), so when Indian infantry protects forts and cities, Rajput cavalry goes out to engage. While making bows from horn, sinew not possible, wood and bamboo composite bows can be built and they will have draw weight of at least 120 lb.
Do you have a source on bamboo composite bow can draw 120 lb. Not sure why this needs a unique mention though.

And put it this way, if you could defeat the Mongols in the field, why didn't you just fight them? The idea of staying put is because you can't defeat them. If you could have a part of your army go out and meet them I then fail the see the entire premises of holding out in the city.


If Indian Garrison of Lahore has 50,000 soldiers(including additional force cause of frequent Mongol attacks) 15,000 are cavalry, 15,000 pikeman, 15,000 archers, 5,000 elite shield bearers. Infantry stays in city while Cavalry goes out and engages Mongol force which at maximum numbered 40,000(except Taimur's raid), while Central army from Delhi is coming.
15,000 of Indian cavalry will fight against some numbers of Mongols less than 40,000? Like previously stated, if you could win, why hole out? I don't understand the logic.


If your force consists of 30,000 cavalry then you will not send all of them or even 1000 to attack a single village. Most like you will send 100-200 to attack a cluster of 3-4 villages. Under all caste inclusive Paik system, each village can put 100-120 militia members, if they remain in home, in house to house combat, they may put significant threat to Mongols.
I think the Mongols are happy to burn down huts. I don't think too many of them will be going to fight you house over house.


Afterall Mongol forces here number only between 30,000-40,000 how long they can survive summer, militia everywhere. fortified cities, cavalry challenging them and another central army coming from Delhi?
Well, what is the central army? 30-40k troops is a lot and I try not to bet against the Mongols.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
Is that slower or faster than peasants moving carts of crap they have to use their own muscle to move?
It depends how much of a warning they had ahead of time. The city of Pest was mostly abandoned when the Mongols arrived and captured it duing the their failed 2nd Invasion of Humgary. The citizens of Pest had enough time to evacuate.





There were no Third Sino-Japanese War Bart. Can I then use your logic here and refute your claim that the Chinese could not defeat the Japanese?
The Japanese were.disarmed militarily after the 2nd Sino-Japan War, so of course there was no 3rd Sino-Japan War! Even though China itself played very little in defeating Japan, Japan was defeated and lost the war. Like even though France waa.solidely beaten in WW2, it wound up on the winning side.

So the Mongols just fleece you then. That's their typical tactics. Take what they can and soften you up. And rinse and repeat.
The Mongols did not come back after they were decisively defeated in the 2nd Invasion of Hungary, and the 3rd Invasion of Poland.. fleeing does not work if you loose half your army in the process. Mongols were able to inflict defeats on Chinese armies even into the Ming dynasty, but never really launched another major invasion after they were driven out of China.

The British didn't come back after the War of 1812. The Japanese didn't go back to China after the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The British didn't want to fight the War of 1812 in the first place, and it was a draw. The Japanese lost after the 2nd Sino-Japaneze war and were disarmed, although had very little to do with the defeat of Japan, not even able to drive them out of Manchuria. But had Japan not been defeated by the US and its allies, perhaps there would have been 3rd Sino Japan war. It was for sure the Chinese were not in the process of driving out the Japanese out of China on their own any time soon. The Mongols had.launched several majoe invasion of Poland and Hungary in a relatively short amount of time, yet stopped after they were defeated, and never launched another major invasion. If you want to deluded yourself it was a coincidence, go ahead, but it won't change the facts.
 
Mar 2014
1,800
Lithuania
There seem to be some misunderstanding. There are two different things ability to defeat steppe nomad army and defending against raiding. These are 2 totally different things. Central Europeans were able to defeat nomad armies after something like 100 years after initial invasion, but they never managed to stop raiding. The only way to stop raiding was to go to places of Nomad power and conquer them. They were quite similar with pirates, very hard to stop if you can't conquer all ports that they are using. Crimean peninsula was a fortress and Crimean Tatars continued to raid fora a very long time.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
There seem to be some misunderstanding. There are two different things ability to defeat steppe nomad army and defending against raiding. These are 2 totally different things. Central Europeans were able to defeat nomad armies after something like 100 years after initial invasion, but they never managed to stop raiding.
Central Europeans were able to defeat the Mongols after a little less than 50 years. The first Mongol invasion happened in the 1240's, and they were beaten by 1280's, half your 100 year claim.

About small scale raiding, I am not sure, do you have some references that talk about Mongol raiding in the 14 century of Central Europe?

The only way to stop raiding was to go to places of Nomad power and conquer them. They were quite similar with pirates, very hard to stop if you can't conquer all ports that they are using. Crimean peninsula was a fortress and Crimean Tatars continued to raid fora a very long time.

Or you convert the nomads into normal civilized folk. That is how the raiding of the Magyars, ancestors of the Hungarians, were stopped after their defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld. The Magyars were converted to Christianity and became just another European kingdom.

It is difficult to stop.ligjting raids by the nomads, but a nomad carrying plunder is vulenerable to counterattack, since carrying plunder will.slow them up. But you are probably right in that the main way to completely stop them to conquer the.area they operate out of.









And land based piracy like the Vikings and Barbary Coast were largely eliminated. While the Barbary Pirates.did raid some coastal villages on occasion, it was an exception and did no happen very often. Viking raids so oppd because the Vikings fell under the rule of central Christian king's, and because defenses of the countries they raided became better. Barbary Coast piracy wasn't completely eliminated until the area was conquered, but by the time it was conquered it's piracy effectiveness was greatly reduced. Stopping piracy on the sea is similar to stopping highway robbery on land.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2014
1,800
Lithuania
They mostly raided for slaves. Estimates of the number of people involved vary: according to Alan W. Fisher the number of people deported from the Slavic lands on both sides of the border during the 14th to 17th centuries was about 3 million.[8] Michael Khodarkhovsky estimates that 150,000 to 200,000 people were abducted from Russia in the first 50 years of the 17th century.[9]

Crimean–Nogai raids into East Slavic lands - Wikipedia

That during period when they weren't dominant military power in the region. Territory was controlled by Lithuania, Moscow and Poland, but Tatars still were driving away huge number of people every year.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,621
Sydney
unlike a full scale nomad invasion , raiding is a money making proposition
the best way to stop it is to make it unprofitable , reinforcing local defense
setting up a local militia , not to defeat the raiders but to harass them and prevent them from foraging widely
it make them always on the defensive against an elusive opponent , disrupt their food gathering capacity and slow their movement
this tactic was used during the one hundred year war against the English "chevauchees" with great success
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
They mostly raided for slaves. Estimates of the number of people involved vary: according to Alan W. Fisher the number of people deported from the Slavic lands on both sides of the border during the 14th to 17th centuries was about 3 million.[8] Michael Khodarkhovsky estimates that 150,000 to 200,000 people were abducted from Russia in the first 50 years of the 17th century.[9]

Crimean–Nogai raids into East Slavic lands - Wikipedia

That during period when they weren't dominant military power in the region. Territory was controlled by Lithuania, Moscow and Poland, but Tatars still were driving away huge number of people every year.
The lands mentioned are mostly eastern European, not central Europe that you said. While the lands might have been controlled by central Europeab powers, the actual lands raided appear to be.eastern, not central, Europe.

If the Golden Horde came back to invade the lands near Krackow or Polish proper, please point that out.
 
Mar 2014
1,800
Lithuania
Maybe I missed something in this discussion, but title of the tread is how to defend against Mongols. There is nothing about particular region or particular fraction of Mongol empire. Later attacks were not by Golden Horde, but by Crimean Khanate. Golden Horde was defeated. Last Khan of Golden Horde died in Lithuanian prison in Kaunas.